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Am I a candidate for foraminal narrowing surgery?

If you’re wondering if foraminal narrowing surgery is a good option to treat your spine condition, you should discuss the issue thoroughly with a physician. It’s best to have a personalized answer that takes into account your medical history, any ongoing chronic conditions with which you have been diagnosed and other factors to determine whether to recommend you for spine surgery.

Although such decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, we can discuss the general guidelines that might qualify you as a candidate.

Your symptoms

In many cases, people who have minor to moderate symptoms are recommended to not have surgery as the inherent risks of an operation are not outweighed by its potential benefits. If you have more severe symptoms, however, it is more likely to be suggested. Severe symptoms may prevent you from working, handling household chores or participating in your hobbies.

Your current and past treatment options

Most physicians won’t recommend you for foraminal narrowing surgery if you haven’t yet tried other, less invasive treatment methods that are known to produce favorable results for many patients. Some conservative treatments might include:

  • Hot/cold therapy
  • Regular low-impact exercise
  • Careful stretching
  • Physical therapy
  • Taking medications for pain and inflammation

Not all of these approaches work for every patient, and it can often take weeks or months of trial and error to come up with a plan that meets a particular patient’s needs. If you have yet to try these approaches or give them some time to work, you may be advised to wait before thinking about surgery. But, if you have given these methods a try only to find your symptoms worsening or remaining the same, spine surgery is more likely to be recommended.

Your current health

As with any surgery, your physician will account for your general health before recommending you for open neck or back surgery. People who are younger and generally free from other major health concerns and chronic conditions are more likely to have successful surgeries and to heal more quickly afterwards. Some surgeons will also refuse to perform spine surgery on current smokers because tobacco can severely impair the body’s ability to heal itself, opening the door for complications during the recovery process.

USA Spine Care’s minimally invasive surgeries are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back procedures.^ To learn if you’re a candidate for our outpatient foraminal narrowing procedures, contact us today.

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